We’d heard of The Villages from other Michigan residents who seek respite from winter’s onslaught each year in Florida. It’s supposed to be a retirees’ dream come true, with year-round golf, homes in every price range, restaurants, movie theatres, and trendy shops a golf cart ride away. Ninety-two thousand people already live there.
It wasn’t particularly my cup of tea, but Earl had wanted to visit for some time. So as we began our trek home to Michigan from southern Florida we booked two days at The Villages, which is located north of Orlando in a sleepy town called Lady Lake. We’re here now, in our hotel for the night after a walking exploration of the area. Here are my first impressions . . . and I’ll try to be objective so you can make up your own minds.
The receptionist at our hotel probably draws Social Security, as opposed to the various receptionists we’ve met in other places who probably have a long way to go. At first I wondered if she would be able to process our reservation. Then, as she shows herself to be an expert, I change my line of thought to “What a great place where older people can be productive if they want.” I mean it too.
There seems to be more golf carts than cars. And they are tricked out with every conceivable convenience: isinglass covers, his and her monograms, upholstery that announces the owners’ alma maters. They remind me of Amish buggies without the horses.
There is dancing on the square every night from 5 PM to 9 PM. I happened to commandeer Earl into dancing with me, but he lucked out when the musicians were winding down the particular song. We shuffled for maybe ten seconds and called it a night. Perhaps other retirees like to dance more than Earl does.
Tomorrow we’re heading out to see what else The Villages has to offer for people, like us, who don’t play golf and don’t own a golf cart. I suspect Earl will like what we see more than I do. If that’s the case and he wants to return, I promise to visit him.